The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals 4-2 on Tuesday night. The best-of-seven series is even at 1-1 as the series shifts to Long Island.
How it Happened: The Islanders have spent most of the playoffs battling from behind and on Tuesday that was no different. Ondrej Palat broke a 1-1 tie in the second period with a goal from the slot to give Tampa Bay back the lead and Jan Rutta and Victor Hedman extended it in the third period. Rutta’s goal at 2:16 of the third period was the first goal by a Tampa Bay defender in the postseason.
Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each scored for the Islanders and Brayden Point opened the scoring with a goal 8:58 into the game.
Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves on Tuesday while missing part of the game after being pulled by the department of player safety for concussion protocol. Semyon Varlamov enetered the game and made six saves.
Lightning Strikes: The Islanders knew that Tampa Bay would be better in the second game of the series, and that they were. New York tempted fate by giving them five power-play chances on Tuesday night and surrendered a power-play goal to Hedman that sealed the win to even things up. Tampa has the league’s deadliest power play in the postseason and the New York Islanders learned that on Tuesday night.
In addition, 5-on-5 Tampa Bay’s top line outdueled the Islanders in the second game of the series. The top line of Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov combined for a pair of crucial goals for their team against the New York Islanders. The trio had been held without a goal at even strength and registered just three shots in the first game against New York.
Officials Rough night: No one will be using Game 2 as a highlight reel at the NHL’s ref school. Tampa Bay and New York were not thrilled at one point or another with the officiating crew on Tuesday. First, they gifted the Islanders a power play, which resulted in Brock Nelson’s tying goal in the first period.
Adam Pelech cross-checked Point into Varlamov and the refs mysteriously called Point for interference. Varlamov was shaken up during the play and forced to leave the game briefly. Then in the second, all four officials missed a blatant too many men on the ice call, which resulted in the go-ahead goal for Tampa Bay. Islanders head coach Barry Trotz was none too pleased by the non-call there that ultimately swung the game for Tampa.
Up Next: The series shifts to Long Island for Game 3 on Thursday at the Nassau coliseum.